Pathankot attack on mind, Punjab cops get drones

Agencies/Chandigarh
November 29, 2017 NATIONAL 130 Views

Tough armour, eyes in the sky and heightened firepower – that’s what the Punjab police will have even as it gets ready to observe the second anniversary of the Pathankot airbase terror strike on January 2.
With police officers fearing that Pakistan is trying to foment trouble here, they have procured three surveillance drones or unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) worth Rs 21 lakh. At the same time, the police department has placed an order for two mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles or ‘Casspir’, costing around Rs 2.40 crore.
The drones would help in protecting cops from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as well as gunfire in encounters with terrorists or gangsters. The force has also placed an order for around 3,000 AK-47 assault rifles. A senior IPS officer told TOI, “We can use drones as the second line of defence, to control crowds, to keep a vigil on assailants hiding in sugarcane fields…”
The drones can also be put in use in the border districts to keep a vigil on smuggling and infiltration from Pakistan.
After the Pathankot attack, the SAD-BJP government had sanctioned Rs 100 crore for police modernization.
Earlier this year, the state police purchased around 16 bullet-proof ‘Scorpio Rakshak Plus’ vehicles and had placed them in border districts mainly to counter gangsters and drug smugglers during encounters.
These vehicles also have an opening in the roof to mount a light machine gun (LMG).
The state police have also purchased some handheld thermal imagers and bullet-proof morchas to place them at strategic locations.
The Punjab police had earlier floated a tender for procuring drones and it was getting a single drone for around Rs 24 lakh. But since BSF was procuring more of them, Punjab sought help in procuring three drones under BSF’s “tolerance clause”.
Hence, the state police were able to save Rs 17 lakh per drone. A training session on the use of drones was held earlier this month at the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) centre in Jalandhar.
Regarding the purchase of mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, the state police have already deposited the amount with the Jabalpur-based vehicle factory and it would take at least 5-6 months in delivery of the consignment.

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